Colorado Mesa University has issued an apology for being a little too good for their own good.
A men’s lacrosse match between CMU and Johnson & Wales University ended with 7:37 left in the game after CMU scored its 52nd goal in a 52-0 rout. The score and the way CMU went about that win didn't sit well with some.
In a lengthy email to local media, Bryan Rooks, CMU’s co-athletic director, said the administration takes full responsibility for the outcome of the game.
According to The Daily Sentinel, the game set NCAA records for goals scored, margin of victory and total point. John & Wales didn’t attempt a shot on goal throughout the entire game. CMU, on the other hand, continued to take shots on goal even after being up 29-0 at half. In all the Mavericks took 81 shots on goal, with 21 different players scoring in the game.
In his statement, Rooks said CMU’s athletic department had contacted Johnson & Wales about the game and are “coordinating to improve both programs in the future when it comes to sportsmanship and protocols. These conversations have been constructive, instructive and will continue in the coming days and weeks.”
Rooks also said in his statement that "while good sportsmanship is one of the hallmarks of Colorado Mesa University,” the school “failed to uphold our standard in this instance.”
"President Foster asked that all coaches, players and the athletic department personnel take time to be introspective, and to learn from this situation, and to get better as competitors and as people," Rooks wrote.
Rooks’ full statement is below:
Colorado Mesa University coaches and student-athletes sustain high expectations for player and coach conduct when it comes to sportsmanship. We believe in training and performance that puts forth the best from players and promotes the legacy of the sports we all love.
Fans and observers have rightly expressed frustration over the lopsided scoring from a recent game between Colorado Mesa and Johnson and Wales lacrosse teams.
CMU Athletics takes full responsibility for our role in the game's outcome and the unsportsmanlike nature of the final score. We must have protocols in place to address these issues in the future as games unfold in real-time. Allowing scores and outcomes to unfold that do not enhance the sport or contribute to the growth of student-athletes works at cross purposes to our mission. We are working closely with our coaching staff to identify, specific to the sport of lacrosse, triggers and thresholds that in the future will be in place to keep something like this from happening.
Importantly, leadership from the athletic departments of both universities have been in close contact regarding the matter. We are working collaboratively to take responsibly for our respective roles in the game's outcome and are coordinating to improve both programs in the future when it comes to sportsmanship and protocols. These conversations have been constructive, instructive and will continue in the coming days and weeks.
CMU athletics wants to be clear on two fronts.
First, we apologize to our fans and the people who love the game of Lacrosse. We also offer our apologies to the players — both Mavericks and Wildcats. They deserve better.
Second, we are committed to learning from this mistake and will take these learnings forward to make our programs better. In the coming weeks we will establish a plan for how we will make good on this commitment.
Finally, full responsibility is accepted by our administration and we believe our coaches understand the gravity of the outcome involving their actions. Our coaches highly regret many of the game-time decisions that contributed to the outcome.
Sometimes programs confront challenges by turning to those with experience and wisdom. In conversations with CMU President Tim Foster, he conveyed a belief that while good sportsmanship is one of the hallmarks of Colorado Mesa University that we failed to uphold our standard in this instance. President Foster asked that all coaches, players and the athletic department personnel take time to be introspective, and to learn from this situation, and to get better as competitors and as people. In addition to discussions with CMU's President, our staff has spoken with many members of the lacrosse community at multiple levels, including the NCAA. Their wisdom and insight was instructive. Many communicated that winning by unsportsmanlike margins isn't good sportsmanship; but neither is playing with less than your all and thereby disrespecting the game through patronizing play. These conversations pinpointed the difficulty in finding the right balance. However, finding that balance is our commitment to our players and fans in the future.